Heading home from a Daintree winter
There was a lot of moisture in the air when we readied ourselves for departure in the morning. However, lucky enough to get a break in the clouds for a mini-tour around Port Douglas and their markets. Brilliant! Everything from designer clothes and shoes to coconuts, local produce, art, and even a guy squeezing sugar cane with a bicycle contraption of epic creativity. The town’s streets are soggy and a little quiet in the early morning, but the classic standout of the strip is the Iron Bar; Tree branch chairs, rusted iron roof (you know, the modern way) comfy lounges and oodles of character. Also the home of the classic cane toad races.
Rain set in on the first stretch on the way back so only had a quick stop at Boulder Creek and continued on. The spot was definitely worth a longer stay though, with an expansive swimming hole above the roaring rapids and enormous boulders.
With our mapped plan out the window due to the weather, the risk of spending a night at an unsatisfying roadside stop is high. There has been a distinct shift in the Austrailian coastal region, a movement of sorts that has only become noticeable on our journey back down the coast. They streamline with the change of seasons and swarm on sunset. At best you may get a glimpse of them through the trees, at worst, they almost stack like ugly lego. Varied in size and shape, but usually colour bland. Their prevalence is ever so evident as you hit the road yourself alas, no matter how we try to deny it, we are one and our numbers are now so many the adventure starts to lose its shine. Such is the caravan movement, our only solace is that we go off the beaten track as much as we can.
Tully was bland enough but ok with the giant rainboot, The wettest town in Queensland though so not sure if it’s the best spot to stay out of the rain but we still explored the town. Our next move was not the best….windy narrow wet road up to Crystal Creek to see the cool old stone bridge H was not happy and sweating chips most of the way but managed to get back down without losing the van.
Next night stop was Moulborou, an unimpressive patch of grass or so we thought. As we sat in our soggy chairs from the rain the night before there was a swoop of wings and a glint of a skilful eye. A beautiful pair of falcons were nesting in the trees above and swooping for discarded prawns on the ground right beside our camp. That’s the thing about being out in nature, there’s always the unexpected to make or break your day, but at the end of it all it makes one hell of an experience.
With the clouds now parting we found one of our next best camp spots. Initially I was scared off by talk of Midgee terror, but we found ourselves alone right on the edge of a peaceful river with a small group of pelicans and a campfire(high enough from the crocs). Our first encounter was, however, a little unsettling, on exploring the tracks to find the best spot we found ourselves meandering down a track on foot…..there was a rustle in the bushes beside H…we both looked at each other and then ran like idiots back to the car.
H had not learnt his lesson though as once settled he thought it a good idea to go down to the waters edge for a little gold panning… as you do in croc country lol. It wasn’t until after a little time he noticed half fish floating and scattered bones on the bank that H decided it was maybe not the best idea ha ha ha ha
Midway through sunset a trail of unusual guests made their way across the river head to tail. It was interesting to see the dominant male scout things out first before the others followed, and what a pretty boy he is. Early morning brought Spoonbills, Falcons, Plovers and a scene-stealing family of Bustards whos size take me by surprise everytime I see them.
The last stop for the trip home is at the Chowey bridge, a neat and tidy spot all to ourselves. You can get down to the water if you do a bit of bushwalking to the back of the waterhole(away from the bridge) Not an official campsite but when you are all alone and you leave everything as you found I see no harm and we stayed for a very peaceful night. Then home, time to plan for the next and I can’t wait